This week, during our Oil and Our Lifestyles: A Month of Action, we turn our focus to community and culture, and how we can be agents of change in our respective circles of influence.

This week marks both the anniversary of the Gulf Coast oil spill on April 20th as well as Earth Day on April 22nd.  In light of these important days, we invite you to create and/or deepen community around the issues you care about.  As one Month of Action participant wrote, “we all need support in changing old habits!”

To start the week, we are highlighting some of the efforts underway through this Month of Action.  Many of you shared with us your goals and reasons for participation.  Here is a sampling of what some of your fellow Month of Action community members are doing:
  • A Portland, OR participant purchased a new bike and is riding to work at least twice a week this month
  • In Westminster, CO a participant is driving less, walking and biking more, and blogging about the process to raise awareness
  • In Maryland a participant is not using heat for the month, and has committed to drying all laundry on a clothesline
  • In Corvallis, OR a participant is buying less plastic packaged foods at the grocery store and is eating more local foods
  • In Cincinnati, OH a participant has committed to exploring electronic free entertainment, increasing carpooling, and learning about eating local wild edible plants
  • A group of Hewlett Packard employees in Oregon will be doing NWEI’s oil spill focused course, Just Below the Surface, this week

As you know, here at NWEI we focus on individual behavior change and small group learning through our discussion courses and through our EcoChallenge.  So today we’re challenging each of you to consider ways to create and/or deepen community around the issues you care most about.

Today’s proposed action is: Organize a small group to discuss the oil spill anniversary and what it means for us moving forward as a community and culture.  Consider using NWEI’s Just Below the Surface discussion guide as a tool for gathering co-workers, friends or neighbors for an hour of reflection and action consideration. 

Whether or not you are able to organize a discussion group, share your concerns as well as what you are doing about them with your community more often this week.  Consider sharing Month of Action NWEI blog posts that have inspired you with your online social networks.  Raise awareness through taking time to connect with your immediate circles of influence about the issues that matter most to you right now.